Bolton’s Bias: Voting is all your country asks

Opinion Editor Will Bolton discusses his opinion with anyone who will listen, in person. This column gives him a place to do it where people can escape from his tirades on everything from school programs to American politics by just putting the article down—although given a chance they probably won’t want to.


The United States of America asks for one voluntary effort in order to sustain the protection it affords to all of its citizens: the informed vote.

According to, a website that publishes research reports that assess American and international election systems, around 60 percent of eligible voters vote in presidential elections, while about 40 percent do so in the mid-terms. This is a startlingly low number compared to an average of 80 percent in countries with much less established democracies, such as Austria and Italy.

It is sad to see the population of a country which has allowed representation for over 200 years be outshone in their patriotic duty by the Austrian and Italian populations. Maybe the recent brushes with autocracy have motivated those people to appreciate the say in their governance that they have, but a Mussolini character should not be needed.

The fact of the matter is, voting takes so little time and is a blessing that not many people in the world have, and it’s ridiculous for anyone to take it for granted.

Everyone has heard the saying, “finish your food, there are starving people in Africa who would love to eat it.” Well when the time comes, be an informed voter, there are oppressed people across the globe.

In my judgement, there are three reasons eligible people do not vote.

First, some simply forget when the time comes.

Second, some are just too lazy and actively ignore their duty. This is the most reprehensible reason, considering America arguably gives its citizens more freedom than any other country. Our country does not force anyone to vote like Australia and Chile do, but instead allows its citizens the freedom not to participate in the governance of the country which provides them that very freedom.

It may seem ridiculous to berate high schoolers for being too lazy to care about politics, but around a quarter of us will be old enough to vote in the upcoming election and the rest will be eligible in the following one. It is certainly not too early to begin looking into the facts of the issues which will shape our adult lives.

The third reason is that some have made a principled choice to not vote for no reason other than just not feeling like it. There are several arguments as to why someone would chose not to vote.

The one reason I hear most is that there are no candidates the person likes and therefore he or she chooses to vote for no one. However, even if you cannot pick from the lesser of two evils because you see both as equally awful, you can always write in a candidate.

Another popular excuse is that the would-be voter is so disgusted with what is going on that they have simply given up. Although frustration at the seemingly insignificant vote to change the infuriating problems is understandable, not voting does not help the issues while voting can and does.

Will Bolton is an Opinion Editor for The Patriot and